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Downtown KeyBank branch to close

Melissa Topey • Mar 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

In what is perhaps a sign of the times, KeyBank on Washington Row is closing at the end of May.

Customers whose accounts are held at that location have been receiving letters welcoming them to the Columbus Avenue branch.

“KeyBank is consolidating services at your existing branch, Sandusky Downtown. Starting May 30, 2014, the staff at Sandusky Columbus Ave., will be your banking partners” the letter reads. “We value our relationship with you and want you to know that while this change relocates where your accounts are managed, we aren’t changing the way we work with you”

The closing was a business decision based on customer traffic, said Kimberly Kowalski, spokeswoman for KeyBank.

“As communities change, the Washington Row branch has seen many of its customers shift their business to other nearby KeyBank locations” Kowalski said.

As of now, this is the only branch in Sandusky being consolidated into another, but KeyBank continually reviews its organization to maintain a strong business position and to meet the needs of its customers, she said.

Employees have been invited to apply for open positions at other branches.

KeyBank has owned the building since 1984 and plans to put it up for sale.

The KeyBank building also houses the Erie County Community Foundation, but it is unknown what will happen to those offices once the current lease expires.

Phone calls and emails to Anna Oertel, the organization’s executive director, were not returned.

Erik Anderson, owner of Erik’s Clothing and Culture at 125 W. Market St., does his business banking with KeyBank.

“I am sad to see it go. It is so convenient,” Anderson said. “I also really enjoyed the staff”

Anderson will continue to keep his account with the bank and simply use the other locations, such as the one on Columbus Avenue.

It is the nature of today’s world of banking that more and more branches are being consolidated as more transactions are made electronically, said Dennis Murray Jr., Sandusky ex-officio mayor.

“It’s unfortunate,” Murray said. “This is prime space. On that square, historically, we have not seen office space remain empty for long”

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